Jasmine was the shining star of a family of shining stars. Successful in all she’d ever done, the twenty-five year old was living the life of her dreams. She was an outspoken, vibrant, industrious young lady, all qualities she put to great use. Her work ethic and studiousness served her well in high school, college and grad school. She earned a 4.0 grade point average at every level. Jasmine’s beauty helped her to get noticed and employed at a top financial institution. She was on the fast track to success.
Jasmine rubbed elbows with the young elite in the city of Chicago and was highly respected by her peers. Male suitors lined up for the opportunity to converse with her at gatherings and events. One night she found herself in the company of a tall handsome man who was known to be very successful in the business of buying and selling of homes and property. Jermaine drove a Bentley and dressed well. Jasmine thought she’d give him a shot. They hit it off and began dating.
Jermaine was very romantic and giving, Jasmine cautious and patient. Things were great until she discovered some unsettling things about her new beau. She found out from a friend that one of Jermaine’s friends bought that beautiful Bentley of his and he was reneging on payment. Jasmine didn’t confront him with this information, instead she investigated him further and found some damning things.
Apparently Jermaine had quite the criminal history in his hometown of Syracuse New York. He was convicted of domestic violence, stalking, check fraud, embezzlement and false imprisonment. Jasmine was shocked that she had given herself to a criminal. The woman had never been deceived so easily in her life. She was irate at the career conman and couldn’t wait to give him a piece of her mind and kick him to the curb.
Initially he tried to deny what she knew to be true but eventually he couldn’t argue with the mountain of evidence she had to the contrary. She cursed him, ordered him never to contact her again then hung up on him. Jasmine was ashamed to have been duped by a derelict so initially she kept was deceptive about being deceived. When asked about Jermaine she downplayed the seriousness of their relationship and the hurt she felt for being fooled.
Then, one day she saw him at an event with a good friend of hers. Jermaine was obviously telling her some of his same tired lies. Jasmine was determined to expose him and she told him as much. She sent emails to him and everyone in her inner circle, especially the young lady he was attempting to date. Jasmine threatened Jermaine directly, informing him of her intentions to out his lies. She told him that she would go to the police if necessary and in return her offered her vague threats. Jasmine didn’t take him seriously; she right and truth on her side. Just as he lied about his life she was sure he was lying about what he might do to her.
For once Jermaine was true to his word. Jasmine’s family had a gathering to celebrate her great aunt and uncles’ fiftieth wedding anniversary. No one could get in contact with her so her worried siblings contacted the police. Eventually her vehicle was found in a wooded area about twelve miles from her home. After interviewing her friends and family the police were quickly led to Mr. Jermaine Tanner. Unfortunately he was nowhere to be found.
The surveillance video from Jasmine’s parking was reviewed and they could see her being dragged to her car by an unknown male. He ushered her into a blind spot where his actions couldn’t be detected by the cameras. The elevator footage was far more telling. They could see Mr. Tanner with Jasmine and she looked distressed. When finally apprehended Jermaine provided the police with an airtight alibi. So he thought.
When pressed the friend he conned into vouching for him confessed that he hadn’t seen Jermaine. The friend wanted to help but refused to do jail time for his buddy. Two years of legal wrangling Jermaine put Jasmine’s poor family through. He fired attorneys, decided to represent himself only to hire a new lawyer. Eventually the judge appointed him a public defender and proceeded to trial. Seeing the writing on the wall Jermaine Tanner eventually accepted a plea deal of life in prison to avoid the death penalty.
Jasmine’s family was relieved and received some measure of closure but the pain of losing one of their brightest with so much unfulfilled potential would never subside. Jasmine’s sisters, Julie and Jane made it their purpose in life to inform young woman of the dangers of dating and the value of properly vetting a potential suitor. They did a lot of public speaking and even created a foundation to help women who were victims of domestic violence. Jane and Julie may not have been able to save their little sister but they refused to stand by idol while another young woman was emailed into eternity.
“Believe Evil is Evil when you see it.” Cam Rascoe.